MAST LIGHT FIX

MAST LIGHT FIX

Even when R.E.D. was brand new right off the production line four years ago the mast light sometimes worked, sometimes not.  For so many legitimate reasons, when something goes wrong we tend to blame it on dealer issues but this time it turned out to be a factory issue.

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Frail Connections

No wonder the light worked poorly.  When disconnecting it fell apart in Francois’ hands.

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Corrosion

Corrosion is a fact of life especially when exposed to salt water environments but this was a good lesson to routinely check connections, although this was not a water-tight connection and subject to infiltration.

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New Piece

Fortunately this was an easy and inexpensive repair

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Easy Fix

All installed, super sealed with butyl tape and ready to test.  Did Francois connect positive with positve and negative with negative?

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Mast Up

Yes! Connection made and now our mast light works consistently.

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Mast Down

Safely capped when we unstep the mast.

An $18 piece, a bit of butyl tape to seal equals a whole lot of piece of mind.

CONDENSATION

CONDENSATION

It’s not the water outside the boat that creates the problem but the water within, or in our case the moisture.  Well, yes there was a case(s) last year where we left the forward hatch open, crossed the wake of a very large cruiser which thoroughly soaked our bed.  Our fault. We forgot.  We learned.  We dried out…eventually.

This year though we faced another moisture challenge.  Cold meeting warm.  When the frigid temperatures of the Saint Lawrence River (1 °C – 7 °C)  met the warm-ish ambient temperatures inside R.E.D.’s cabin condensation resulted.  And evil mildew ensued.

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R.E.D. isn’t built for such conditions and now that we are back from this summer’s adventure we have to address fixing the issues.

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After scrubbing away the mildew, Francois put a substantial coating of a product that is supposed to control mold and mildew.  Well if the famous Mike Holmes endorses it, it must be good, right? Worth a try anyway.

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Our Froli bed system and cushions were removed from the V-berth. The floatation material was also removed and the bilge lined with mylar insulation…the same used to make the blanket for our cooler (story here)

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Mylar Liner

Have you ever taken a piece of equipment apart and when putting it back together had something leftover?…

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Where Does This Go?

…This was one of those cases.

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Mylar Lined Bilge Cover

We are, for the moment at least, mold and mildew free.  V-berth cushions and bedding has been returned.  The rear bilges have been cleaned and pretty well sanitized.  The one big issue remains that will have to be addressed (if I have anything to do with it)…all that carpet on the walls of the cabin MUST GO.  Replacing the covering on the dagger board well turned out to be a great solution – however difficult – it was worth the effort (story here).  We have discussed options.  Francois has thoughts. I have thoughts and as with any good team, somewhere in the middle, we will reach a solution.  More to come on that in the near future. For now we will enjoy sailing on our little lake for the rest of the season mold-free.

 

BITS and PIECES

BITS and PIECES

Here’s a little modification recap.  Mostly meant to provide additional security and improve independence for this and future adventures it was a big financial output this year but we can now untie the lines and feel we are well prepared.

Solar panels were installed to supplement battery power (story here, here and here)

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Solar Monitor

 And should we be fogged in along the Saint-Lawrence which is very likely this time of year, we have Gen the Generator to provide power at anchor for that much needed morning coffee (story here and here) and to fire up our little electric heater to take the chill out of the cabin.

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Generator

A word about fog…Ray the Radar will let us see what’s coming and going around us (story here)

The Dome

The Dome

Our boat came supplied with a collapsible camping water jug which we have now upgraded…modestly for now (story here)

15 Free Flowing Gallons

15 Free Flowing Gallons

Mostly esthetic, the Weather Station (story here) was added to give us an indication of changes in barometric pressure, temperature and humidity but the added benefits of having a safe place to store charts and navigation tools made it a step up from ‘pretty’.

A Place to Hide All Precious Cargo

A Place to Hide All Precious Cargo

Solar  Luci Lights will be used to supplement our mast light when at anchor.  Solar instead of battery power is always good.

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Luci

…and little ‘AA’ battery operated LED cabins lights can be used at night instead of using the boat battery.  Only thing missing in this picture is our evening cocktail.

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Cabin Lights

This  year we’re trying something new.  We removed all the bilge covers in the rear berth and found bins that fit securely into the depressions.  Lower priority items and less used are stashed at the back and the containers are small enough that they can be lifted out easily to access things stowed in behind.  Thanks to a great suggestion from our friend Beth we used large pool noodles to safely store fishing rods.

A word about balance:  we are very conscious about equilibrating load.  The weight of the extra 15 gallons of water port-side will be balanced with provisions starboard.  An eye’s view from land shows an even distribution and the onboard clinometer shows zero degree healing at rest and because the load sits low, the righting arm and centre of gravity should be at peace with each other.

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Improved Storage

This sack made of breathable Phifertex holds 2 sets of full foul weather gear, long underwear, tuques, gloves, wet suits and will be stowed below.  Everyone we have talked to says to be prepared for the cold.  Hoping this will be enough. And regarding cold, who wants to fall in the Saint-Lawrence River with near freezing temperatures?  Life vests with safety harnesses, webbing life lines along both port and starboard with tethers have been added.

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Foulies

Two sets of simple pole clips will keep our docking/locking poles secured and out of the way mounted just behind the companionway stairs.

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Clips for Docking Poles

What’s left?  Well I guess the only thing left to do is provision.  That’s a personal preference thing. What works for us won’t necessarily appeal to another. I’ve spent the winter working on easy galley recipes and there will be new ones posted from time to time along the way in Sea Salt Galley Kat. We’re counting on being at anchor more often this trip but as with previous years what’s worked best for us is to count  number of days away from supplying and add a contingency factor of +20% to allow for bad weather and unforeseen delays,  There are lots of places along the way to pick up supplies though.  Oh yeah, speaking of our bellies, we have our fishing permits.

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Permits

…and some super duper lures thanks to  Tim the Master Fisherman, so hoping to snag a fish or three and Francois knows of places where we can dig for clams.  We may freeze but we won’t starve.

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Scary Stuff

A word about internet.  In a perfectly plugged in world we would by now have an internet booster but haven’t we already done enough for one year?  It’s on the list of improvments but the priority had to go first to those things that will make us safer.  We did however augment our data plan which included a super deal from our provider giving us a new iPad mini which hopefully will provide more latitude with blog posting.  Will see just how great that signal is along the Saint-Lawrence.

…and last but not least is what we have been referring to as Little Red, our new-to-us dinghy.  Names have been thrown around, suggestions offered but Francois has come up with what we think is the best of the best.  In France if you order a glass of red wine you ask the waiter for a ‘ballon de rouge’ so don’t you think it very fitting that our little inflatable should be called…

‘BALLON de ROUGE’?  

So that’s it.  Next time you hear from us we will probably be on our way.  Feel free to stop by to check in on us.  It will be an adventure for sure.